Wednesday, September 08, 2004

MoD Contract

A decision on whether a Barnsley company has secured a £1.4 billion contract for a fleet of new Army vehicles is due any day. Mercedes Benz is one of four short-listed bidders for the Ministry of Defence contract which could create more than 1,000 jobs. A successful bid would result in the Tankersley plant manufacturing more than 1,000 cargo vehicles and tankers a year.

Barnsley MPs Eric Illsley, Jeff Ennis and Michael Clapham teamed up with Richard Nutter from the Barnsley Development Agency to lobby government ministers to convince the to award the contract to Mercedes.

From a local perspective, a successful bid would be a major shot in the arm to an area still trying to recover from the privations of the miners strike 20 years ago, which decimated employment.

Russian Speakers' Visit

Members of the Barnsley Russian Speaking community group have met with the town's three MPs. The group travelled to the Houses of Parliament along with other ethnic community groups from Barnsley to meet with Eric Illsley, Jeff Ennis and Mick Clapham. Next year the group is planning a delegation to Donetsk in the Ukraine to strengthen cultural and economic ties with the area.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Survey into bad behaviour

Barnsley Central MP Eric Illsley is conducting a survey of his constituents to see how they are affected by bad behaviour.

He said:

By conducting this srvey I hope to be able to identify areas which are affected by anti-social behaviour and together with the new Anti-Social Behaviour prosecutor begin to tackle this problem. This survey will take into account the specific needs of my constituents with respect to this problem.

Friday, August 06, 2004


Eric's position on Iraq appears a little ambiguous. Of the 4 Iraq-related divisions debated by the House in 2003, Eric voted against the government on two (96 and 117), with the government on one (118) and failed to vote in the other (97)

Yet back in 2002, as a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Eric expressed concerns over British involvement in possible action in Iraq.

Fast-forward to 2003 and we see Eric jumping to the defence of Alastair Campbell over the allegations of sexing up the now infamous dossier. However, his statement attracted criticism from fellow committee member John Maples. In light of subsequent revelations concerning the compiling of the dossier, Eric's belief at the time that the dossier was compiled by intelligence chiefs appears naive. That Eric feels that he and the public had been misled is apparent from his call on the 16th July 2004 for a further inquiry:

Eric Illsley, Labour MP for Barnsley Central, a member of the Commons foreign affairs committee, called yesterday for an inquiry into why Parliament and the public were not told that the intelligence had been discredited.

Had it been made known to the Hutton inquiry it could have "changed the atmosphere" of the hearing. Lord Hutton would have had to comment on the quality of the intelligence which went into the dossier.

Mr Illsley said the Intelligence and Security Committee was entitled to ask why it was not made aware that the intelligence had been withdrawn or why no public announcement was made qualifying the dossier on WMD.

"Anyone reading the dossier today would still think it was a relevant document and all the information in it was secure intelligence gathered at the time," Mr Illsey told BBC Radio 4's World at One.

Thursday, August 05, 2004


This blog is being maintained on behalf of Eric Illsley, Labour MP for Barnsley Central. Eric has a website maintained by those very nice people over at, which not only contains his biography, but also details of various Bills and EDMs he has voted on, along with press releases and speeches. Eric also has a personal website which could show promise were it not for the fact that the latest press release published on the site dates back to 11th June 2003.

It is apparent from the various press releases that Eric has a passionate belief in the future of Barnsley, and it would be nice if he were to use blogging as a means to convey his vision to his constituents.